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CNN
Sep 26, 2012 12:00am PDT
secretary of state for public affairs and ambassador richard williams, mitt romney's senior foreign policy advisor. welcome to you both. let me start with you, p.j. crowley. what do we do about iran and president ahmadinejad? >> well, this clearly will be one of the most compelling issues that the next president faces, either obama in a second term or romney in a first term. as the president said today, there's still time and space to work this diplomatically. he's put down a very firm position that iran will not have a nuclear weapon. i think governor romney actually agrees with that. >> richard, one of the problems here of course is credibility on all sides, and the reason i say that, i discussed with president clinton earlier the comparisons to iraq. here you have another bad guy in the same kind of region who everyone says has wmd or wants to, in this case, get wmd. it turned out to be not true in the case of saddam hussein. he didn't have any weapons of mass destruction. can the west afford to go into any kind of military conflict with iran, with ahmadinejad, and then discover actually all he
CNN
Sep 25, 2012 7:00pm PDT
time and it's paying off in the polls but not in terms of foreign policy. >> just the optics of that, do you think it has the potential of hurting the campaign? >> i doubt it. it's going to clearly come up in the foreign policy debate, but i think it's more a mistake in terms of foreign policy. at a time like this as you say with so much turmoil in the middle east, to refuse to meet middle eastern leaders, the president of asia, egypt wanted a meeting, prime minister netanyahu of israel, as he well know, fareed knows better than i do, and diplomacy, personal relationships are very, very important. it's especially true in the middle east, where people want to look you in the eye, take your measure, and decide what kind of relationship they're going to have with you. so i think simply in terms of what's going on in the middle east but it's also true, anderson, that i think in terms of his presidency, you know, taxpayers want a full-time president. they want somebody who's looking after them at times of trouble and yes, of course people expect him to campaign, but not at the expense of
CNN
Oct 1, 2012 1:00pm PDT
, the white house, his whole foreign policy team, they're dealing with a completely bizarre scandal related to the attacks in benghazi, driven by the fact that they spent a week after they knew this was probably a terrorist attack insisting that it was all about an anti-muslim voe and had very little to do with terror. i'm not sure what their theory is. it's part of a broader pattern where the obama white house wants to continue george w. bush's anti-terror policies, even expand them in terms of drone strikes and so on without completely acknowledging what they're doing. but in this case, it's made them look ridiculous. it seems unnecessary. >> i've lived in the middle east and in libya. and nothing that you see is as it seems. you don't have any idea who these people r. they showed up with grenade launch easy and sophisticated weapons. but in libya today, everybody's got some. >> that's fine. you don't even have to say, this is definitely terrorism. you just don't spend a week saying, well, it's all about this video that was made in southern california and the muslim world is reall
CNN
Sep 25, 2012 8:00pm PDT
to lay out his successes in foreign policy over the past four years. it was a very specific list, but does it add up? >>> and mitt romney took a stab at a vision for foreign policy and said there should be very specific conditions for a country to get foreign aid from the united states. >>> and a college student nearly dies after consuming alcohol. but how he got it into his body might shock you. the pace of change is accelerating. the way we... perform, compete and grow. and people are driving this change. that's the power of human resources. the society... for human resource management and its members know... how to harness that power, because we help develop it. from the next economy, to the next generation, we help get... the most out of business, by getting the best out of people. shrm. leading people, leading organizations. not in this economy. we also have zero free time, and my dad moving in. so we went to fidelity. we looked at our family's goals and some ways to help us get there. they helped me fix my economy, the one in my house. now they're managing my investments fo
CNN
Sep 25, 2012 11:00pm PDT
used his platform to lay out his successes in foreign policy over the past four years. it was a very specific list, but does it add up? >>> and mitt romney took a stab at a vision for foreign policy and said there should be very specific conditions for a country to get foreign aid from the united states. >>> and a college student nearly dies after consuming alcohol. but how he got it into his body might shock you. ado! the most dependable, longest lasting, full-size pickups on the road. so, what do you think? [ engine revs ] i'll take it. [ male announcer ] it's chevy truck month. now during chevy truck month, get 0% apr financing for 60 months or trade up to get the 2012 chevy silverado all-star edition with a total value of $8,000. hurry in before they're all gone! ♪ [ sighs ] [ bird chirps ] [ bird squawks ] ♪ [ bird screeching ] ♪ [ elevator bell dings ] [ sighs ] how mad is she? she kicked me out. but i took the best stuff. i'll get the wrench. ♪ [ male announcer ] kohler's tresham collection. life. with a twist. ♪ life. with a twist. the wheels of progress haven't bee
CNN
Sep 26, 2012 2:00am PDT
. coming up, scoring president obama and mitt romney's dueling foreign policy speeches. with some dualers of our own, that's next. forz(power!) andiamo! andiamo! (let's go! let's go!) avanti! avanti! (keep going! keep going!) hahaha...hahahaha! you know ronny, folks who save hundreds of dollars by switching to geico sure are happy. and how happy are they jimmy? happier than christopher columbus with speedboats. that's happy! get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. with two times the points on dining in restaurants,? you may find yourself asking why not, a lot. chase sapphire preferred. there's more to enjoy. who have used androgel 1%, there's big news. presenting androgel 1.62%. both are used to treat men with low testosterone. androgel 1.62% is from the makers of the number one prescribed testosterone replacement therapy. it raises your testosterone levels, and... is concentrated, so you could use less gel. and with androgel 1.62%, you can save on your monthly prescription. [ male announcer ] dosing and alication sites between these products
CNN
Oct 1, 2012 11:00am PDT
, you posed these foreign policy questions to barack obama. number one, can you tell us specifically what the afghan troop surge accomplished? and this, can you guarantee that iran will not have acquired a nuclear weapon by the time you finish a second term in office? david frum, foreign policy seems to be one of the president's strengths, at least that is what some of these polls indicate. of the two questions we just showed, some of the questions you posed here in this ten questions for obama to answer piece, which is likely to be toughest for the president to answer and why? >> all right, well, i put foreign policy questions at the top, that's so core to a president's responsibilities, domestic, occupy the second half of the list. the tougher question would be the afghanistan question. this is the president's probably single largest scale foreign policy decision, the bin laden raid, a tough call and he's made many other decisions both public and secret. but he -- he campaigns strongly in 2008 oninding down the iraq war and escalating up the afghanistan war. he sent 30,000 -- 33,00
CNN
Sep 30, 2012 1:00pm PDT
strictly on foreign policy. that's october 22nd in florida. bob schieffer of cbs is the moderator. be sure to catch this first debate life here on cnn. >>> 37 days from election day and new allegations of voter registration fraud, the complaints center around registration drives in florida, nevada, north carolina and colorado. they were performed by a consulting political consulting company hired by the republican national committee called strategic allied consulting. in colorado, a woman who may have worked for the company was videotaped trying to register only mitt romney supporters, take a look. >> yeah, hi. >> do you volt for romneyor obama? >> i thought you were registering voters a minute ago. >> i am. >> and who are you registering? >> all voters. >> i'm actually trying to register people for a particular party because we're out here in support of romney actually. >> and who's paying you for this? >> let me see, we're working for the county clerk's office. >> you cannot come out here and register one party, lady, are you working for the county clerk's office, i got it all on ta
CNN
Oct 1, 2012 10:00pm PDT
medicare, taxes and foreign policy. keeping them honest, when it comes to some of those issues, both candidates have come up short either on specifics or credibility. issues like cutting taxes without ballooning the deficit or burdening the middle class. the romney campaign has been asked again and again for specifics. here's runningmate paul ryan just yesterday on fox news. >> there's been a traditional democrat and republican consensus lowering tax rates by broadening the tax base works. and you can -- >> i have to -- you haven't given me the math. >> well, i don't have -- it would take me too long to go through all of the math. >> chris wallace kept trying but came away empty-handed. he's not the only one. take a look. >> which of the deductions are you going to be willing to eliminate? which of the tax credits are you going to -- when are you going to be able to tell us that? >> we'll go through that process with congress. >> give me an example of a loophole that you will close. >> i can tell you that people at the high end, high income taxpayers, are going to have fewer de
CNN
Sep 29, 2012 4:00am PDT
failure of foreign policy message and leadership. such a misstatement of the facts as known at the time and for her to go on all those showers and be misinforming the american people and our allies and countries around the world, to me, somebody has to pay the price first. we have so much things to go wrong and everyveryone forgets t it the next day. an american ambassador who was killed where by all the accumulation of evidence at the time the prezusumption had to b it was terrorism. it is definitivety terrorism, to say it was not terrorism at that time was a, to me, terrible mistake to make, whether it was intentionally or unintentionally and show the significance of that, i believe she should resign, yes. >> the white house is standing by ambassador rice. she said everything she said in that interview was cleared by interagency groups and certainly nothing was designed to mislead the american people. >>> to the 2012 election now and there are only 38 days left until election day. early voting has already started in a few states and even more kicking up next week. also next week,
CNN
Oct 3, 2012 4:00pm PDT
that jim lehrer may ask a question related to foreign policy, libya, syria. do you think -- is that something mitt romney wants to have that discussion now? do you think mitt romney feels there is some room there for him to make some -- >> hard to say what the campaign is thinking, but if you haven't made your case on the economy, sufficiently well, when the economy is in this terrible of shape, i would think distracting from that is probably not a good strategy. let's do too many things not well. i would stay focused on the economy tonight. >> i do think mitt romney can, and if given the chance, will, successfully prosecute the case that what we're seeing is a lack of leadership domestically and in forbes polieign policy as we. we had big headlines, turkey shooting at syria, syria sending shells into turkey. that's big news. i wouldn't be surprised if jim lehrer throws a foreign policy question in. >> if i'm in obama, i would say throw me in the briar patch. that's a strong point for him. i think, unfortunately, the door is now open in a way on foreign policy that it wasn't before,
CNN
Sep 27, 2012 1:00am PDT
happens in foreign policy. the arab spring is not something the u.s. necessarily has control over. >> that's right, anderson. we have to understand that. that said, our experience tells us whether it is the bombings or the "uss cole." in yemen, libya, because of a weak central government -- we know al qaeda has the wherewithal to take advantage of that and they look for safe havens around the world and it seems, it appears now that is what al qaeda was doing with libya, trying to insert itself where it was a weak space and take advantage of it to our great detriment and tragedy. >> fran townsend, appreciate your reporting with your sources. thank you very much. >>> in other news tonight -- >> in what was likely his last speech at the u.n. general assembly, mahmoud ahmadinejad called for a new world order. as he was speaking rudy giuliani was blasting president obama for not taking stronger action against iran. former mayor rudy giuliani joins me ahead. "like" the photos he's posting. oscar likes tom's photos, but he loves the access to tom's personal information. oscar's an identi
CNN
Sep 30, 2012 10:00am PDT
ahmadinejad has a history of making broad historical comments about iran, u.s. foreign policy, israel, and much else. so i talked to him about the history of the jews. listen to what he said. you're a student of history, and you said something that i was struck by in one of the gatherings that you were at. you spoke about israel and you said it has no roots in history in the region. and i was wondering whether you really believe that because as you know, of course, jews have lived there for thousands of years, and we know this, of course, because there are repeated references to the children of israel in the koran. there are 43 references to the children of israel. in fact, one of them, chapter 17, 104, we say to the children of israel, dwell in this land, live in this land, referring to the land that is now israel. so do you dispute these facts or do you accept that there is some connection between the children of israel and this land? >> translator: so we're trying to fabricate to make the roots a connection? so you do not draw any distinction between the zionists and the jews? >> i
CNN
Sep 30, 2012 8:00am PDT
getting involved in the whole israel/iran debate. it's very, very dangerous for him in terms of foreign policy and in terms of the electorate and i think they made a decision it was better to be criticized for being superficial than to riflk dangerous or uncontrollable sound bites coming out of those meetings. >> quick thoughts? >> combined with the avoidance of four leaders, we're going to have a president after election day. >> i agree. it's easier to go on "the view." >> mitt romney said whoopi goldberg was pretty president tough. you know, there's a little bit among some of the establishment press of looking down their collective noses at letterman, leno, the view, "the daily show," why do the candidates waste their time talking the fluffy stuff. everybody uses the sound bites and the clips. romney talking about snooki. asking what you wear to bed, imagining -- i won't even go there. everybody feasts on that stuff and they derive it both days. i don't think there's a problem going on the programs. that's where they live. they don't all watch cable news all the time. >>> when we come
CNN
Sep 26, 2012 8:00pm PDT
stevens, the movie, so, why is the administration hesitant to use the word terror? a key foreign policy victory of this administration was the killing of osama bin laden. and this summer at a fund-raiser, the president said al-qaeda is on the run and we got bin laden. well, as we said that july night, the part about al-qaeda on the run didn't look that way to us. al-qaeda linked militants were there on the libyan weapons obtained after the u.s. and nato intervention in that country and now that four americans have been killed in north africa by extremist groups, the question remains. should the united states have known this attack on the american ambassador was coming and did the administration lie about intelligence that al-qaeda linked groups were responsible for his death for the past two weeks? representative mac thornberry is "outfront" tonight. good to see you, sir. >> glad to be here. >> i know this is an issue you care a lot about. you've spent time in mali in the past. you've been briefed on the situation in benghazi. at that briefing, were you told that al-qaeda linked groups were res
CNN
Sep 26, 2012 12:00pm PDT
on national security, health care, on taxes, crisis management and overall foreign policy. double digit leads in that poll just released today. one of our go-to guys, peter hamby joins me from washington, one of our political reporters. peter hamby, give it to us bluntly. how bad is this particular poll for mitt romney? >> it is it is very, very bad brooke and one number you mentioned there, obama holds a 25-point lead among women which is a big gender gap we have seen in any poll between the two this cycle. ohio is the linchpin of any white house strategy. romney can still do it, though the needle he's threading becomes very, very thin if he does lose ohio. the question the political people are asking today is this lead actually ten points? or is it closer to what we have seen in previous polls, which is seven, six, five, four perhaps point lead for barack obama. a lot of republicans are criticizing the polls saying the gop is undersampled, democrats are being oversampled. if you talk to any republican in ohio, they'll admit to you they are losing the state they just say -- they
CNN
Sep 26, 2012 6:00am PDT
super bowl of foreign policy. a lot of things happening. all eyes on syria. leaders from iran, israel, libya, tunisia. it's going to be a big week, and it sets the tone for foreign policy worldwide for the rest of 9 year. >> we'll be watching, no doubt. >> and thank you, too, for joining us. see you very soon. >>> tomorrow on "starting point," race driver danica patrick. >> cool. >> awesome. >>> "cnn newsroom" with carol costello happening right now. >> thanks. >>> hall of fame, ref rage, call it what you will. a new push to get the replacement refs banned in one state. monday night's game, a banker, with no professional experience. >>> tornado terror. at least three twisters tear through the midwest this morning. storms stretch from pennsylvania to oklahoma. >>> poll position. president obama pulling ahead in several debattleground states. florida, pennsylvania and ohio, where mr. romney is now trailing by ten points. >>> plus this -- >> israel frustrate the that iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad will address the unja on the holiest of jewish holidays. will his comments r
CNN
Sep 28, 2012 10:00am PDT
presidential race would be about the economy. lately foreign policy has also been a priority. now president obama has talked on the phone today with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu and we understand that mitt romney just spoke with him by phone moments ago. we got -- first up, of course, jen socky, a traveling press secretary for the obama campaign. jen, first of all, there was some criticism -- >> hi. >> hi. good to see you. >> there was criticism, back and forth, about -- one of our laiss said it was a telanovella, this drama between the president and netanyahu over whether or not they should see each other face-to-face, around the united nations meetings, these kinds of things. they have now spoken. does this put this to rest? >> well, suzanne, they also spoke for about an hour about two weeks ago, and they are in consistent contact, as are members of the president's national security team, and seetary hillary clinton. you know, the president is focused on governing, restoring our place in the world, focussing on what needs to be done in these areas, and mitt romney s
CNN
Sep 28, 2012 8:00am PDT
. this campaign trail is completely awash with foreign policy snipes and criticism over the economy and crippled unemployment rate. when it comes to health care, crickets. radio silence. despite the issue completely dominating the debate for most of the year. it does not mean you don't care about health care and that it has disappeared from the agendas. oh, no. here is dr. sanjay gupta with their positions and their plans when it comes to your health. >> since president obama's health care law was enacted 3.1 million people under the age of 26 will covered by their parents' plans and preventive care is covered 100% by insurance companies. seniors in particular have benefitted on prescription drugs. >> seniors who fall in the coverage gap known assist the doughnut hole will start getting help. they will receive $250 to help pay for prescriptions and that will over time fill in the doughnut hole. >> 5.5 million seniors saved a total of nearly $4.5 billion on prescription drugs since the law was enacted. that's according to the health and human services department. >> i have strengthen
CNN
Oct 1, 2012 4:00am PDT
-- it's not really front and center in this debate. we talk about foreign policy of late. we've certainly been talking about the economy. so are you saying, do you believe that that's an intentional squelching of it? obviously you could -- >> oh, yes. absolutely the president flew out to aurora as we expect a president to do, offer his condolences, met with the victims and their families and it's great to meet you, and god bless you. but he really there, and when congressman giffords was shot, gun control. part of that is not just based on what ron says, but it's also based on pure politics. the senate democrats have to defend important seats like montana, and manchin in west virginia, big -- >> politics have always been, this has been a regional issue as well as partisan issue historically. the votes that democrats lost on gun control in red states like that were offset by republicans from more blue constituencies who felt the need to vote for gun control. now you have a situation in which republicans uniformly oppose gun control. democrats split regionally and no president has really be
CNN
Sep 29, 2012 3:00am PDT
this was a failure of foreign policy message and leadership and such a misstatement of facts, as were known at the time and for her to go on all those shows and be misinforming the american people and our allies in countries around the world, to me, somebody has to pay the price for this. too much things to go wrong and everyone forgets about it the next day. i think we have to send a clear message and american ambassador was killed where by all the accumulation of evidence at the time the prezumption had to be it was terrorism. i can see if they wanted to say it's definitively terrorism, but to rule out terrorism and say it was not terrorism at that time was, to me, a terrible mistake to make whether it was intentionally or uninte unintentionally. >> the white house is standing by, rice. everything she said in that interview was cleared by interagency groups based on the latest information that u.s. had and certainly nothing was designed to mislead the american people. >>> now to syria where eyes are on the country's chemil weapon stock. the big question is, who has control? >>
CNN
Sep 30, 2012 2:00pm PDT
rthe focus foreign and domestic poi si and the final debate will be strictly on foreign policy. bob sheaver of cbs is the moderator at that time. president obama and mitt romney facing off as the american people weigh their choices. watch it live right here on cnn 7 p.m. eastern time and then of course on cnn.com. >>> all right the u.s. supreme court justices celebrated a red mass this morning at st. matthematthew s cathedral in washington. that means they are officially back at work tomorrow. one of the first big issues the court could tackle, voter id laws ahead of the november election, you can also see rulings on gay marriage and affirmative action involving the university of texas. cnn's joe johns looks at how the divisions within the court could play out in this session. >>> fred at the beginning of new session, the supreme court is going to be closely watched for signs of train between the uses or anything else that suggests things may have changed since the health care ruling, which arguably was is biggest opinion by the court since bush versus gore more than a decade ago. r
CNN
Oct 1, 2012 4:00pm PDT
made here and huge i argue foreign policy mistakes were compounded by the original decision they weren't going to use the information that the intelligence community was giving them. i think it's a dangerous decision. i think we're seeing that now and we're going to pay a price for this. >> have you been told you're going to get all of the cables, anything in prior months in and years to this, that this was coming, especially in the two or three months before? >> we've requested the documents. they have yet to arrive. the cooperation is not what we had hoped. i just hope we don't have to ramp this up. we should do this as an internal investigation so that we can move forward and make sure that the other embassies of the world that we don't not let al-qaeda off the hook on this and i tell you, again, that 9/11 commission was very strong. not responding to the u.s.s. cole may have cost us the 9/11 attack, but clearly it was in their mind they could do more. we have to make sure this gets shut off now. i said at the beginning, that if a month from that event, we're still talking abo
CNN
Sep 26, 2012 4:00am PDT
for the united nations general assembly. obviously personal relationships do matter in foreign policy. and there was an article in "the new york times" yesterday which caught our eye here. it had a quote from a middle east official. it said, you can't fix these problems by remote control. president obama doesn't have friends who are world leaders. he doesn't believe in patting anybody on the back, nicknames. you can't accomplish what you want to accomplish with such an impersonal style. do you agree the president has an impersonal style? >> not at all. i think he has met extensively with his counterparts. when you look at bibi netanyahu, i don't think there's a world leader he's met with more. he picked up the phone, they had an hour long conversation. this is a scheduling income patability. he spoke with leaders from egypt, libya, yemen, a number of other countries just last week in the wake of events in the heeft. this is an everyday part of his job. and he takes -- he relishes it. he does it with gusto. he has very strong relations with a number of these leaders. >> yet there is a feeli
CNN
Oct 2, 2012 6:00am PDT
year. most have centered around foreign policy, others have been about the economy, like in 2008. when the economy imploded, john mccain's advisers say his campaign collapsed along with it and never recovered. historians say in order for an october surprise to have a real 11th hour impact it has to feed into a narrative that already exists, whether it's carter's ineffectiveness or questions about mccain's credentials on the economy. >> it's not so much that suddenly, eureeka, this is so surprising, so amazing but rather people nod, yes, this is where we thought things were going. >> that is so fascinating. dana bash is live from our washington bureau. so, question, do some think friday's jobs report from the labor department, could that be an october surprise? >> sure. why not, carol? at this point, anything could be an october surprise. the fact is that maybe we've already seen it. maybe it was the tragedy in libya, the unrest in the middle east and how the candidates responded. maybe it was that infamous 47% remark that mitt romney had. maybe one or both of the campaigns has so
CNN
Oct 2, 2012 2:00am PDT
term october surprise has become a seismic event. most centered around foreign policy, others have been around the economy, like in 2008. when the economy imploded, john mccain's advisers say his campaign collapsed with it and never recovered. historians say for an october surprise to have an 11th hour impact, it has to feed into a narrative that already exists, whether carter's ineffectiveness or mccain. >> it's not yur reek a. this is a so surprising, so amazing, but rather people nod, yes. this is where we thought things were going. >> it's possible we may have already seen this election year's october surprise. maybe it was how the candidates reacted to tragedy in libya and the broader unrest in the middle east or mitt romney's infamous 47% remarks. or perhaps one or both of the campaigns is holding out damaging information about the other. or there will be an unfor foreseen event on the world stage. it wouldn't be an october surprise if we knew. >>> dana bash. >>> this is a live picture from the debate location in denver. you can see the podiums are set up on the stage. the se
CNN
Oct 4, 2012 4:00am PDT
next couple of debates and i don't think mitt will either. >> next debate is going to focus on foreign policy and our latest polling shows that president obama has an advantage there, 52% to 43% even after the crisis in libya that you and i have spoken a lot about. what do you think governor romney, who you support, what do you think he has to do to make headway there? >> just point out the facts, that we're in retreat, withdrawal, iraq is unraveling, al qaeda is on the upswing every place in the middle east. this terrible stuff that's going on of afghans in uniform killing americans in uniform. all the president has done has announced withdrawals, withdrawals. we're leaving. he has overruled his military advisers and we find ourselves in a terribly difficult position throughout the middle east. the latest, of course, benghazi, repeated warnings that there were threats to the security of the consulate, which were obviously ignored and the president flies to las vegas. >> i assume the obama campaign is listening, taking notes on that and preparing for those kinds of questions. senator j
CNN
Sep 27, 2012 6:00am PDT
past week or so with their criticism of the obama administration regarding foreign policy decisions specifically what happened over in libya and with the ambassador being killed over there. we're seeing here now that they realize it doesn't pay to be outwardly partisan. in that ad we just saw, you heard mr. romney say that president obama cares for the middle class and poor people as i do. of course he does. and of course mitt romney does. anyone that thinks otherwise would be rather jaded. but the fact of the matter is what mitt romney is trying to convey is is that his policies will be better. you might like president obama as a person, carol, but his policies haven't worked for the past four years. >> some republicans think that's not such a good strategy. they think that mitt romney should be just as hard on president obama as he has been in the past and the softening of issues only confuses republican voters, especially core voters. >> it's not his job to be outwardly partisan. he's supposed to be the states man. he's the one supposed to be talking about ideas. allow the super
CNN
Oct 2, 2012 9:00am PDT
the fall of an election year though most have centered around foreign policy others have been about the economy like in 2008. when the economy imploded, john mccain's advisers say his campaign collapsed along with it and never recovered. historians say in order for an october surprise to have a real 11th hour impact it has to feed into a narrative that already exist, whether it's carter's ineffectiveness or questions about mccain's credentials on the economy. >> it's not so much that suddenly eureka this is so surprising, so amazing, but rather people nod yes, this is where we thought things were going. >> dana bash joins us live from washington. first of all, i guess people will take a look at friday's numbers, the jobs numbers and do we think that could be a, the october surprise that people are waiting for, the unemployment? >> reporter: you know, it could be if it's anything like the unemployment reports that we've seen important the past several months it's going to be pretty static and that would not be a surprise. but, you know, what was interesting about what the presidentia
CNN
Sep 27, 2012 1:00pm PDT
>>> as today we're st 40 days away until th presidential election. and for thsecond day in a row both mitt romney and president obama haveeen campaigning i the same battlegroun state. this time it's virginia where both men targeted the same group of voters. let's walk over to cnn's naon political correspondent jim acosta who's been out on the campaign trail wahingt' going . another dramatic da. virginia, virginia, virginia. pretty important place. >> that's right. a rare visit to washington for me. but it's good to be home, wolf. all politics is local. so it was no surprise to hear both candidates hit on national security themes today in their speeches in virginia. but the state is much bigger than that. it's really a republican firewall for mitt romney. in battleground virginia, both president obama and mitt romney pulled out the heavy artillery before a group of veterans, romney slammed the president for the massive defense cuts part of the fiscal cliff coming at the end of the year. >> it is still a troubled and dangerous world. and the idea of cutting our military commitment by a trillion dollars over this decade is unthinkable. and devastating. and when i become president of the united states, we will stop it. i will not cut our commitment to our military. >> the president once again blasted romney's hidden camera comments on the 47% of americans he dubbed victims of government dependence. >> i don't think we can get very far with leaders who writeoff half the nation as a bunch of victims who never take responsibility for their own lives. >> 47% of the people vote for the president no matter what. who -- >> the obama campaign turned romney's secretly recorded remarks into a devastating new ad claiming the gop nominee's words under the families and veterans. >> so my job is not to worry about -- they should take personal responsibility. >> romney two days in a row out to link national security to the nati sluggh recovery. he's seizing on new economic data revising down the 2nd quarter gdp. >> this is not just one quarter. this has been going on now for years. china's growing much faster than we. russia's growing faster than we. our economy needs to be reinvigorated. >> but not all the numbers paint a gloomy picture. the labor department announced it undercounted nearly 400,000 jobs in 2011 meaning that 4.4 million jobs have been created since the president's inauguration. slightly more than the number lost in that same period. but the president said there's still measuring work to do. >> we're not where we need to be. not yet. we've got a lot more folks who have to get back to work. we've got a lot more work to do to make the middle class secure again. but the question is, who's plan is better for you? >> an obama win in republican-leaning virginia could deal romney a crushing blow. the president won here four years ago becoming the first democrat to do so since lyndon johnson. but in the state the military vote is not the only game in town. football fans are everywhere. so it's no surprise a reporter asked romney about the deal to end the dispute between the nfl and its referees. a question romney appeared to fumble. >> what do you think about the nfl refs? >> i sure hope they do. >> well, the refs will be back and they'll be back tonight playing in baltimore. but romney continues his push on national securityish shies at an event at a military college in pennsylvania tomorrow. that is a state where he is trailing the president according to recent polls. but it's one the campaign thinks it could put into play, wolf. >> why do they think that? the polls have been very lopsided in pennsylvania not just recently but for weeks and weeks. >> they've looked at that state for some time. they think it's something they could put in play. obviously they know it would be an uphill battle because in recent elections that state has been pretty solidly blue. but, wolf, i have to tell you even though these recent battleground polls have shown romney falling behind in places like ohio and florida, if you look at the attitude of the campaign, they are showing no worry, no concern. they are confident they will make up ground during the debates and this will still be a tight election come election day. >> still plenty of time to go. three debates. a lot can clearly happen. i haven't seen the romney folks put a lot of money in advertising in pennsylvania. that's a sure sign that they're maybe not convinced it's really in play. >> we'll see if that changes. >> yeah. that could change. you're right. thanyou very much. today is the first day votes can be cast in one of the battleground states that will help decide the 2012 presidential election. our chief national correspondent john king is in iowa right now where in person absentee voting actually started today. it's pretty early, but they're voting not only in iowa but in other parts of the country as well, john. >> reporter: wolf, 35 states plus the district of columbia allow some form of in person early voting. as you noted, the iowa voting kicked off today. we're here in iowa city. we saw a pretty healthy line. mostly students, mostly obama supporters . mostly obama supporters on day one. now, republicans say that's overblown. if you've made up your mind to vote even before the debates, you are going to be for one candidate or the other no matter what and you are going to vote. so if you're voting early, voting late, it doesn't matter. but one of the places obama thinks it helps is they had a big swell in the youth vote last time. they had the support in the bells, but, wolf, frankly they down this time. sometimes college students get a bitdistracted. one of the things, the president of the university of iowa democrats, her job is to tell all of her friends, all of the fellow students vote now. >> things come up. you can have an exam. you can wait until election day and not know where your precinct is. a lot of student haves to go to elementary schools, they don't have cars, they don't know where it is, any extra obstacle can keep students homeda early voting gives us 40 more chances to catch people. >> reporter: now, republicans traditionally don't invest as much time in early voting. but, wolf, as ewe know this comes as a time, this is one of the battleground states, iowa is, that's gone from a tie to at least breaking a few points in the president's favor. that has some republicans here and elsewhere in the coury bit nervous. they're worried about congressional races and other races. th thinkf things don't turn around soon, governor romney would be a drag on the ticket. i talke to a veteran republic, former state party chairman, he says, yes, people are v t concerns, but be calm. governor romney has time. >>rlyf a candidate loses by more thfivt starts to e. that a big issue for republicans. but the way i look at it, we're starting the fourth quarter we haveon arterback. and anybody th ows fourth tion . so oober will be big. romney has a goodtart the month, we'll be fine. reporr: you hear him say october wi be big. that starts e month. that would be the first debate, , on october 3rd. republicans say is is overblown. doesn't matter if they ve early or election day. but look at theequest for early mail-in democrats havea countywhere i'm in, m than hf the votes were cast early last election. that's where most of the students are.fascinating towatch one thing republicans are worrieout ashi early voting opehens, t president has momentum at the moment. they say it's critical that goney swit momentum athat voting ntinues wolf, 4 days right up to election day. >> everyone agrees, john, iowa very much in play ri now, right? >> reporter: yes. it's one of the states -- we have nineates we call toss-ups. this is one of them. seven of those nine states allow some form of in person early voting. iowa istl in play, but iowa is one of those stateshat have drifted a bit in the president's favor. and, again, this is a state where republicans did very well in 2010. they believe they have some energy on the ground. but they've watched the last ten days, wolf, if you talk to them privately, they're not happy with the romney strategy. they're not happy with the romney advertisements. and they think first and foremost he must have a very, very strong debate on the question of which candidate can better handle the economy. they say he must do that in that first week of october to turn the tide here. >> all right. john will be joining us later in "the situation room" as well. thanks, john, very much. >>> today we learned the president plans a friday phone conversation with the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. earlier today the prime minister literally, literally showed the world where to draw a red line to stop the iranians from enriching enough uranium to make nuclear weapons. >> if these are the facts, if these are the facts, and they are, where should a red line be drawn? a red line should be drawn right here. before, before iran completes the second stage of nuclear enrichment necessary to make a bomb. >> truly historic and extraordinary moment at the u.n. general assembly. let's discuss the political fallout with our senior political analyst ron bro brownstein. when he shows up and draws a red line and suggests by next summer as he said earlier, six or seven months it will be too late. this is the time. it's got to be done. that puts enormous pressure i assume on the president. >> this has been extraordinary watching this over the past few weeks as prime minister netanyahu in a series of speeches and now this u.n. appearance, i think this is trying to maximize the leverage possible forsi oba to align with himn ts idea to establish a red line to trigger militionryac the president so far is saying no. lling this week shows the country divided evenly ono would better hdle the challenge, romney or obama. but it's also true there's been notitehink in the american pubor ano war in the mideast. in that sense netanyahu has kind of an uphill argument to push. >> howortant iss iue out there for those undecided voters specifically the decid voters in those key battleound states that ll teine wlo gets 270 electora college votes, we're talking florida, oh,virgia and a few others? >> we thrks is erwhelming. it's rlly abt role o government. kind of ideologic divergence between roey and obama. thos thwo critical issuesher on f policyenerally the president has had an vantag somewhnualor a democrat. en morepa handling foreign policy. his job approvav tter than ratings on. buthetyahu raising the questi -- wh th differences beinma so visible by nyahu'ow visibility, the question fe pport in a couple places that could matter. it'sot inconceile given the arguments fr the iaeli prime minister. face-to-face.go meet they're both obviously here in the united states. but there will be a phone call tomorrow. what's the political fallout from this decision that someone made that the president should not get together with netanyahu during these final weeks of this election? >> well, look, relationships are fraught between president obama and netanyahu as they were between clinton and netanyahu. netanyahu and his view of the world and what it takes to make israel secure is closer to a neocon republican view of what it takes to achieve security for israel. i don't think the president wants there to be the sense of a complete and utter breach politically at least in the u.s. going into the election. nor in fact does he want that in practice. the underlying relationship is very solid. the immediate relationship between these two leaders clearly has differences. >> we'll speak in the next hour with the israeli ambassador to the united states. a dramatic moment indeed at the u.n. ron, thanks very much. >>> there's important news out today about jobs. and it may have pulled the rug out from under one of the republican's favorite attacks on president obama. standby. on every one of our cards there's a date. a reminder... that before this date, we have to exceed expectations. we have to find new ways to help make life easier, more convenient and more rewarding. it's the reason why we don't have costumers. we have members. ameran express. welcome in. but porin eczema essentials™ is dient. so it can feel like yore using nothing at its multi-action formula restorevisibly hierthskin in 3 days. neosporin® eczema essentials™ ♪ [ male announcer ] every car we build uskedrenaline pump d pulses quicken. ♪ to help you notust to stay alive. but feee. the new c class is no exption. it'a mees through a th. seeour authorized merces-benz dealer for exceptional offers through mercedes-benz financial services. through hasspds mercedes-benz wow. you guys take a mite. verizon, hands down. i'm going to show you guys anothrt pretty obvious. i don't think color s. pretty obvious. what's pretty obvious about it ? that verizon has the coverage. verizon. verizon. we're gointo go to another chart. it doesn't really matter how you present it it doesn't matter how you prit.est verizon. more 4g lte coverage than all other networks combined. try the #1astroentologis mmended pbiotic. ign. align naturally helps maintain. ♪ ooh, baby, can i do for you today? ♪ lign today. >>> brand new nmbers president obama may be job creator after all. something that could take away of the reblicans' most potent attacks on his administration. us rough the new numbers to that have come out today. what do they show, ali? >> wolf, we were expecting this to happen before the election. the surprise here is it' based on a recalculation of jobs. so since the day that barack obama took office there have been a net loss in 2009 of 4.3 million jobs. when he took over they were losing about 750,000 jobs a month. 4.3 million were lost. in 2010 to now we have now gained 4.4 million jobs. we thought we were a little short of that, but the labor department has gone back and counted. initially their estimates now based on actual filings for unemployment insurance which gives president obama a net gain so far of 125,000 jobs. now, the next jobs report is one week from now -- one week from ton friday. and then there's one mobefore the elecon. and there's some sense thate woulbebefo the end of the election to say every job lost o myatch has been recovered. we're now several wks out from the election and he getso say that. so every job lost since obama took the presidency has been recovered. not one for one, wolf, as you know. there's lots of atsthat quality of jobs are lower than what was lost. but the numbers bear out for the president. >> people may have jobs but not necessarily the same salary they had before the collapse, if you will. >> right. >> they're working, they're putting food on the table, but not necessarily at the same ability -- the same salary levels that they had before. >> right. and thas theissu the republicans have bacd off this whole idea ofobama job killer. they use to usehat terminology. they tend not to now only at would be the strongest argument now that the jobs are not of the same quality. bu ter numbers, this was a very big argument for the republicans six months ago and prior to that that more jobs -- in ctway ey like to say it, olf,'ve probab heard it many times before there were more people working on the first day of president obama's presidency than at any other point. that's the way they'd like to say it. bottom line it was a small milestone but an important one for the president. >> now, the other number we're looking at is gdp growth in the last quarter. it went up but not by much. >> right. so the way you measure growth in the economy is how much it grew versus the same quarter, the same three months the year before. and the most recent quarter that we have numbers for is the second quarter of this year. we had thought that the economy grew 1.7%, which is rlyve slow. ins growing about , china more than 7%. what we learned today is, in this is one of those revisions we found out that the growth was substallwe 1.3%. thurse of coas got the republicans talking. mitt romney put out a statements stuck in neutral. buit's not gang busrs.t utral should be running at 3% or higher to be a healthy economy and r theobs that have beest. let'sope itets to that level. a lot of people are counting on ali, tnks very much. >> mypleasure. >>> with only 40 days to the election, people across the country are focusing in on the presidential race. while we'teetrack of all thewate cooler debates, we haome exclusive eye-opening data about political discussions on the world's biggest social network, we're talking about facebook. let's bring in mark preston, he's taking a closer look. mark, tell our viewers what you're seeing. >> wolf, over the past 72 hours we've witnessed a large number of people all across the nation buzzing about mitt romney on facebook. so much so that more people are talking about h than barack obama in 41 of 50 of these states. but do these people who live in these states that will determine the winner of the election, are these the people who matter? not according to this new data provided exclusively to cnn by facebook that shows in the past three days president obama's being mentioned at a greater frequency on facebook in the nine crucial battleground states. >> do wewh romney leads in some? obama leadhere? can we really tell from this? >> w , a senr obama official explained to me that voter targeting is a top ty a they're fosing thfo on tryi to convince toss-up states to sport president. andt inclu anasis on social media. >> both of t candis, sosinghere a lot on ok media in legrod atpact of virginia? >> ll, wolf, let's take a quick look and seewhen the candidates were mentioned on facebook in virginia. 56% of these mentions were abo esident obama while 44% were about mitt romney according to faceboinsights. and then take a look atne public post, wolf. it's from a romney support i iocalling virgin yans toof suppt rney. john loganwrites, comeon, virginia, you made mistake and ted for obama last time. let's correct that and vote ts me for mitt romney. by and large, wolf, wt to emphasize we don't know the overall sentiment of all these individual posts. but we do know who america's talking about around the virtual dinner table all across america. and since half of america's on facebook, this is a very powerful tool to see which candidate is making america curious. >> but even though they get mentioonfacebook, we don't know if those mentions are positive or negative. they just get mentioned a lot. >> they just get mentioned a lot. wolf, going into the story i thought obama and his allies were greatly outspending romney's team on ads in these toss-up states. i was wrong. analysis just run a short time ago for cnn shows romney and his outspent obama in his backers in six of nine of these battleground states. wolf, as i mentioned earlier, the obama campaign is spending a of t targeting battleground voters on the web. >> it's going to be close no i tter what the polls show now spect it will be very, very close. p, our political director. if you want to see all of thi exclusive information, log onto cnn.com/facebookinsights. >>> last thursday was not the be the florida department store. we're talking about, we have some new video that is going to prove it to you. robbers brly storm a saks fifth avenue shop. what happens next? you'll see. woman 1: this isn't just another election. rein.. the future of r medicare and social security. man 1: i wfacts. straight talk. tell me your plan... anwh won 2:ired i'm tf e gative ads aolitical spin. that won't help me n 2: earned myedicare and cial security. and i desee some answers. annc where do the candates stons th... affect seniors today and in th futu? find out with the aarp voters' guide at earnedasay.or take the steps to reach yours, everyowith usgoals. with real advice, for real goals. the us bank wealth management advisor can help you. with real advice, for real every step of the way. from big steps, to little steps. since 1863 we've helped guide our clients, so they can take the steps to help grow, preserve, and pass along their wealth. their footsteps can help thenen th. all of us serving you. us bank ending soon save 10%20 even 35% on a huge selection of simmons and sealy clearance mattresses.. even get free delivery! sleep train stacks the savings. but hurry, the inventory clearance sale is ending soon. superior service, best seltion, lo pguarteed ♪ sleeprain ♪ your tiet to betthtep ♪ >>> lus sa sylvester is monitoring today' story including day's dealh th nfl refs. >> roger goodellts monday's botched call wasnot a tipping pointor the league's tentative deal reachedesrday with referees e eight-year pack ges the refs a pay hike and suspends a lockout forcing e nfl to use replacement referees. the argues the packs should have won let the results of the game stand anyway. and los angeles police are piecing together the circumstances leading to the hs actor johnny lewis and his landlady. lewis, a cast member of the fx series "sons of anarchy" died after falling or jumping from a roof of a house in an affluent hollywood neighborhood. 81-year-old kathrine davis was found dead inside the home. autopsies are planned today. and the fbi has released video from a robbery that happened last thursday at a saks fifth avenue store in florida. ormed the floor, ordered obbers peop on the floor and took ney from some of the registers. they also knocked over a jewel ca took aag full of jewelry. fortunately, no one was hurt. $5,000 reward is now b offered for information leadi the arrest and conviction. and the king of rock & roll has been dethroned at least when it cometo one of his long, long standing cords billboard magazine says elvis presley is no longer the artist with the most billboard hot 100 hits. guess who that goes to? well, that title now goes to rapper lil' wayne. he broke the record with games celebration that hit the list at number 82. and that gives him 109 entries. one more than elvis' record of 108. that record has been presley's since 1958. lil' wayne now dethroning -- >> keep saying little -- >> so i'm not as hip as you. >> no. you're a rap artist. it's lil' wayne. not little. >> how do you say? >> l-i-l. >> sry abo that. here the thing, wolf blitzer knows who you are. that's pretty im >> congratulations to lil' wayne. thanyou. in today's strategy session we're going to debate the impact of the isrli pmeiniste benjamin netanyahu literally awing aed iran's nuclear program. ] and the candate's sech is in pies all over the district. the witer's desktop oordinand phone are working on a jokwi lor the secure cloud just received a revi are working on a jokwi lor frhe strt's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, canhedate w rg ff of his phone. [ candidate ] anthano every young ce i s o [ woman ] his phone is one of h biggest supporters. [ femalannouncer ] with cco at.. woing together has never worked so well in that time there've been some good days. and me difficult os. d, supporting some ofhe biggest ideas in modern history. in that time there've been some good days. so why should our anniveary er to yo because for 200 years, we've been helping ideas move from ambition to achievement. and the next great ide could be you. ♪ i'm also a survivor of ovarian a writand uterine caers.. i even wrote a play about th. i'm my symptoms were a painian a writandin my abdomens.. and periods that were heavier and longer than usual for me. if you have symptoms that last two weeks or longer, be brave, go to the door. ovarian and uterine cancers are gynecologic cancers. symptoms are not the same r everyone. i got sick...and then i got better. >>> a phoenix fmmaker has en arrested for touching off a terroroax that triggered a steam of 911 calls and heays pu phoenix police to the test. christine lacraw of our affiliate vk report >> hi, i'm a independent >> repr: that filmmaker who ve in a sheet, propelled grenade launcher and had him wa intersection. >> phoenix police offs received several 911 calls from concerned citizens from the area of 33rd avenue bell. >> reporter:n he references the colorado movie massacre and columbine and says he wants to test police here. >> to find out how the phoenix police department responds to emergency sitti >> repten the movithe claims th response time f polic is ting long for law enforcement to respond? it took 14:57 from the time we were sure we were first spotted until th the phoenix police actually ar >> reporte b phoenix police sa their respime was much faster. >> once the call was actuay out spatch to the time we g tohat home, ias about three and a half mis.>> r fike according to hisfacebook page, he ao a master hypnotist and . but hislatest project was hardly movie magic accorng to >> that's a terrorist incident because we don't use grenade launchers in this untry. >>our phoix affiliate charg in knowingly giving a fals impression of a terro act. he's free on bond. we tried to contact him for comment but n hear back, at least not yet. >>> israelie minister benjamin nanyahu literally drawing a red line. ahhhh drill sound chirping eshaking remote tapping sound akinl chirpi tapping shaking remote wouldn't it bereat t less btery to worry about? car honking irping the 2012 sonata hybrid. the only hybrid with a lifime hybrid battery warranty. from hyundai. he only yogurt brand endorsed by weight watchers and youraste buds have always endorsed us. so, you know what this means... is is a in! yoplait, it is so good. [ "the odd couple" theme playing ] humans. even when we cross our "t"s and dot our "i"s, we still run into problems -- mainly other humans. at liberty mutual insurance, we understand. that's why our auto policies come with accident forgiveness if you qualify, where your rates won't go up due to your first accident, and new car replacement, where if you total your new car, we give you the money for a new one. ... call to talk urancean insxpert about everything else that comestandard with our base auto policy. and if you get into an accident and use one of our ced rertifie shops, your repai guaranteed for life. call.. to switch, and you could save hundreds. liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy? >>> aright let's get right to our strategy session. joining us cnn political analyst roland rtin and erick erickson,editor and chief of redstate.com. if you were watching the united nations general assembly, you sawthe prime ministeof israe benjamin netanyahu literally draw a red line saying this is how far iran can go in its nuclear program, but no further. watch this. >> if these are the fact if these are the facts,and the are, whoulhere s a red line be drawn? a lin should be drawn right here. before iran completes the second stage of nuclear enrichment necessary to make a bomb. >> and the prime minister says that probably will happen by the summer, this coming summer. the latest six or seven months from now. let's get reaction. erick erickson, what do you think of the presentation that prime minister netanyahu made today? >> i thought it was very simple and very effective. i can guarantee you what the headlines are going to be tomorrow on this issue. people are focused on what tanyahu di inrestingly enough i think it -- test on this election a lot of coti republicans praised him. a lot of democrats and liberals on twitter and elsewhere thought it wasly silist, but fact oeatter w tpay attention to iran's nuclear rep weapons program, which is what his point was. wheyou saw th, and,rol what do you k of tt presentation? >> imagery matters. think abouit. to this day we remember nikita pounding on the podium at the unnations. remember general collin powell astaf state usinthose to poi outeapons of mass destruction in iraq that we have yet to find. so the imagery matters. that is going to be the front page photo across newspapers worldwide. but here's what's also interesting. on this samay a "new york times" reporting right now that the foreign ministry right before he spoke released an internal report showing they could stop iran without a military strike. so it's very interesting when you have netanyahu saying this, the israelis releasing report wit a military strike. >> they say there could be tougher sanctions that maybe would get the job done. here's another passage, erick, of t minister said today dily reing to what's going onóçow in the united states. >> two dgoays a from this pdi idt obama reiterated that the threat of a nuclear armed iran cant be i very much appreciate the president's position as does everyone in my country. we share the goal of stopping iran's nuclear wns program. this goal ueshe people of unite republicans alike. and it is shared by important l >> all right. dithink?hen you heard that, what >> well, i thought he wasryin to put the president on the spot on this. the headlinesbeen around for the last week or so that he hasn't really had a cordial relationship with the prime minister or been willing to take a meeting with the prime minister. i think the prime minister by drawing the red line and saying what he said just got himself an invitation to the white house or at least a phone call with the president i think that's going to happen tomorrow i read. >> wolf, i got to disagree with that. first of all, they ha a one-hour conversation last week. what you saw netanyahu doing was frankly extending an olive branch because the last thing he needs is for there to be this sense of tension between the u.s. and israel. and, again, i go back to their foreign ministry. very interesting where you have the prime minister making his -- taking his hard line with the foreign ministry of israel saying something completely different saying, no, we are in lock step with america. israel needs to have a strong relationship with america. the last thing they need is for the rest of the world to see those two at odds because we're at oddsh he can't get other countries to go along with the sanctions. >> the whole business oftd sanctions, the sanctions are tough, erick. and we didare prime minister in his speech say, yes, the sanctions are having an impact on theeconomy ofran and average iranians, but so far he hasn't seen the sanction have any impact onenriching ofum, the centrifuges, the move towardomsort of nuclear bomb. that what the prime minister said today. and what rond refegto is a report that the israeli foreign ministry released ggting there's still more unity to tighten those sanctions and maybe they would have impact. >> well, maybe they would and maybe they wouldn't. i would like to hope sanctions would work. but oftentimes democratic nations from the west impose sanctions until the bitter end and we wind up having a war. i think that's what his point was. we need to move rapidly here to that red line point of drawing linethe imposing all the sanctions we can impose quickly because we're going to run ou of time. and no one wants to have a war with iran over ood cop/d cop, wolf. netanyahu playing bad cop, foreign ministry playing good cop. you stillet what youant i the end. >> standby for a moment. s more to discuss. of the hour 'llbe joing us live. 'll dius this at length. so when w me ck anot round of strategy sessn. 're taking closer at magic number in president latest campaign ad, 47. stdb thpacef change is accelerating. the way we... perform,ompete and grow. and peop are driving this change. that's the pow how to harness that power, beuse we help develo. tfrom the next economy, to th next generation, we help get... the most out of business, by getting the best out of people.@ rm. leading ople, leading organizations. but she loved it so much... i told her it was homemade. e tell a little white lie now and then. but now she wants my recipe [ clears his throat ] [ softly ] she's right behind me isn't she? [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. ♪ [ male announcer ] every car we build must make adrenaline pump and pulses quicken. ♪ to help you not just to stay alive... but feel alive. the new c class is no exception. it's a mercedes-benz through and through. see your authorized mercedes-benz dealer for exceptional offers through mercedes-benz financial services. >>> weeackith today's strategy session. joining us roland martin and cnn contbur erick erickson, editor and chief of redstate.com a new obama campaign ad is rather simple. let me play this chunk and then we'll discuss. >> i'm barack obama and i approve this message. >> there are 47% of theeople who will vote for the president no matter what. who believe they are victims. who believe the government has a responsibility for them who believe ey're entitled to healthe, to fd, to housing, to you name it. and they will vote for this president no matter what.so my e peop. they should take personal responsibility for their lives. >> that is playing colorado, florida, iowa, nevada, new hampshire, ohio and virginia. soleaudi with some words written. the dio poion written up on how much tha 47% comment by mi roey, erick, hurt him? >> you know, i think the w it's been portrayed in the past couple weeks very much has hurt mitt romney. although i don't think it's as bad as a lot of people have thought. i k hisroubles in the polling also relate to his byan statement. you know, romney's goi to have to come up with something to combathis with. and thus far his campan doesseem to kno what to do. the shot they're running right romn in the commercial looking athe camera probably is their most effective ad to combat this the president and i both care out pele that my plans will help them. running. ng swing state ad it's >>hat do you think of thi roland? >> the problem is the ad wa portrayed, erick. the prlem is that the words eomingdictly o of mitt romney's mouth. when healls folks ctims, when he talks abo iner of all they want are free fo, housing, thgs along those lives. you're an american out there and you're struggling whe it comes to yo budget and grocerieou are concerned out that. the botm l is mittomney is not resing spificly to this ad. he tried to double downn it what it ds is gives the rc simplut and that's the la tngou need when you're trying to pick up ne, two, three points th you itically need in tse ates. me time though, i want you to respond that ick, but ae imhe did respd to a rtain degree in an interview with nbc news yesterday showing that he is compassionate, he is understanding. he's concerned about those people. and this is how he defended himself. watch this. >> don't forget. i got everybody in my state insured. i don't think there's anything that shows more empathy and care about the people of this country than that kind of record. >> were you surprised by him bringing up the romney health care plan in massachusetts at this sensitive time? >> no. sadly it doesn't surprise me. we're going to, republicans will,hether we want itr not. hopefully he'll hold to his word that he wlepe obama care. but to roland's pot o the middle class, i think most of the polls even though they may show him behind show him winning the middle class. i agree with roland he's got to respond more effectively. but i think they're trying to play the empathy i care card. no one has thought in the ten years of his electoral career that he's really been a guy who cared. they thought he was a guy who could get something done. i think he needs to focus on getting things done as opposed to be able to message i care like george h.w. bush. >> a compassionate conservative like george w. bush projected himself. >> first of all, the government that george w. bush was already a true conservative. he didn't ve to lock that portion of his base up. wolf, i got to say it. trust me, after playing that sound bite on the health care in massachusetts, you can literally feel erick cringe as mitt romney said that because, again, he says i'm going to rpeal obama care but then he comes back later and says i'm going to implement some pies oe affordable care act. so, dude, yan't have it both ways. and that's romney's problem. he is boxedin beuse he was the one who passed universal health care in achusetts. now we have it nationa ankee erick who desperatelyto s a republican president are going, oh, my god, here he goes again. >> go ahead, erick. >> yep. well, i keep a little airpla he front pocket in front of me for times like this. i remember a lot of republican candidates saying it's going to be hard for him to make the case on obama care. we're finding that wis. i think he's probably a little bend in the swing states. but i think he can do it. he needs to getoverthis trying to be l ad focuon getti the job done. people want a solution. they don't lik the guy right now. >> i'm looking forward the presidenti dwn they debate health .re the back and forth between president obama and governor romney on this issue will be i think fascinating. we'll look forward to that. >> yeah, erick's not. trust me. >> i'm looking forward to seeing how they debate. health care's a very important subject. >> yes, it is nk very much. roland martin, erickson, good discussion. in this sprint to election another pect of mitt romney's wealth in texas could become a hot political topic. you're going to find up with his quote i dig it. hey america, en though s ilisa rwearing them, the new depend silhouette briefs for charity to prove h great the fit is even under a fantastic dress. the best protection now looks, fits and feels just like underwear. we invite you to get a free sample and try one on too. romney: "it's time to stand up to the cheaters" when a flo of chestires atened a thousand american jobs... vo: tough on china? not mitt romn. it was president obama whoto up to china and protected aman worrs. mitt ry attaed obama's decision... said standing up to china was "bad for the nation and our workers." w can mitt romney take on the cheaters.. when he's taking their side? ...and we inspected his brakes for free. -free is good. -free is very go. ake pads we inspected his brakes for free. and shoes at meineke. >>> another example of how the tax system often favors the wealthy. mitt romney's taking advantage of something that's perfectly legal but could become a political liability. lisa#r syesteaslooking into th. explain what's going on, lisa. >> well, wolf, this is a story that bloomberg first reported. it's about a trust that offers big benefits for mitty and his children and his 18 grandchildren. it's the kind of thing, you know, that lots of high net worth individuals will use to pass on wealth. but the question as you mentioned is is it becoming a political liability for romney? the romney family is a tight-knit clan. mitt and ann romney like many wealthy couples are working to make sure their wealth passes to their five sons and grandchildren. a family trust established as early as 1995 has amassed $100 million according to the romney campaign. mn's2011 tax records show he has set up an intentionally defector granter trust or idgt. also known as i dig it trust. in this case romney pays any income taxes on the assets in that trust. >> that is a trust that people create whe t assets for future genetions and they ntinue toay p the me tax on it. so i'vegiven awyn asset, t i continue to pay the income tax on it which allows me to shift more wealth to the next generation. >> what that mes is if an investment in the trust gains in value by miion over time, it's ry who pays the 15 capitol gains tax of 50,0. not his children or grandchildren. in essence, it's like passing on wealth to the next generation without having to pay gift taxes on that amount. and gift taxes have ranged from 35% to 55% since the 1990s. th is a common estate planning sttegy f the wealthy. >> it's 100% legal and allowed der our internal revenue code. and it is being -- it's estate planning technique being used by many, many high n clients and not people w have $250 million but even people who have $20 million, $30 million. >>mecans for tax fairness action fund, a liberal 4 saying his incomeax returns are exhibit a of why we need to reform a rigged tax system tt favors the wemt thi at the expense of working amers.we contacted the romney cn for comment, but th did not return our calls. the obama adminisation has proposed revising este planning rules. and one option would be ending this tax benefit. >> it wo aect estate th isog that is now it. coonly de day and day out and has been for many ars. >> that liberal grp aricans for tax fairness actn fund is no calling onrelee h gift tax returns. that will show more details on homu gifted to their children and grandchdren over the years and how much they paid in taxes, wolf. >> lisa, ks very much. >>> and you're in "the situation room." happening now, the israeli prime minister draws a chilling red line for iran at the united nations. does it mean military action is imminent? i'll ask the israeli ambassador to the united states thisho also, syrian rebels scoring ne victories on the battlefield anksbly unit states.g right here in the and a new twist in one of america' greatest uned mysteries. will drling into a drive finally uncor the remains of the notorious teamsters boss jimmy hoffa? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around rl i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." at the united nations today. israeli's prime minister benjamin netanyahu on the world stage literally drawing a red line he warns iran cannot cross in its development of nuclear weapons. cnn's foreign affairs correspondent jill dougherty is in new york joining us now with the dramatic details. jill. >> reporter: right, wolf. red lines don't lead to war. red lines prevent wars. at least that's what the prime minister thinks. in a dramatic speech to the u. l assembly israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu pulled out a chart showing a bomb then drew a red line near the top. >> a red line should be drawn right here. before iran completes the second stage ofuclerichment necessary to makea bomb. before iets tooint where 's a few monthsaway or a few weeks away from ain enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear weon. >> reporter: it was simplistic but chilling illustration of whenir's nuclear program must be stopped. and he laid out a im >> by xt spring, at sty xtummer at current enrichment rates theyill finish the medium enrichlment and move on to the final stage fromhere it's only few nths, possib a f eks before ty get enough enriched uranium fo bomb. >> reporter: netanyahu is referring to an'swing stas uranium riched to 20%, a level that exptsay urthe weapons grade. the israeli leader has chalnged presidentarack obama to clare his own red line that if iran crosses it could on n's nucle&i facilities. mr. obama is refusing t do that argues that iran is developing the capability to ke a nuclear wpon but may nohave made the final political decision to ma bomb. omacw mr. ama wants to use and hey economic angsts netanyahu argues diplomacy norsanctions have worked. only a red linwill. elieve faced with a car red line iran will back ow and this will givere te for sanctions and diplomacy to convince iran to dismantle its clear weapons program altogether. >> reporter: the white house responding toetanyahu says as the prime minister said, the united states and israel share the goal of preventing iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. the president made that car to the world in his u.n. geral assembly speech this week. we will continue our coul and cooperation toward achieving that goa this issue a red line has created real tension between thwhite houseays prest ama is expected to have a follow-up call with e prime minister frida and this even in new york secretary of state hillary clinton will mee with the israeli pre minister. >> le to be a fly on the wall in that meeting. also lik b eavesoppingn that phone call tomorrow between prim minister and the president. jillthanks y, very much. let's g the israeli ambassador to the united statesw ambassador michael oreoining us fm new york. he's been spending all this time with the prime minister. mr. ambassador, thanks for coming in. >> always good to be with you, wolf. >> clearly israelis, your prime minister, has literally drawn a red line. by implication it suggests that's not necessarily enough. you need the united states to drawhat samre lin if the iranians are going to back down. and you haven't heard the obama administration do that yet. is that the issue right now? >> well, as the prime minister said to the general assembly today, wolf, the drawing of the red line is designed to give diplomacy and sanctions more time to work. we believe by drawing that red line you won't be increasing the chances of military engagement, you'll be significantly lessening the chances of a military engagement because the iranians have been presented with red lines in e past in trai of hormuz and they've backed down. we know they can see the color red. we're engaged in a conversation with the obama administratio about setting limits to iran's enrichment process because that's the part of the iranian nuclear program that we can actually see and mor. and that the part that's in facilities that areservle and are still lnerable. and so the obama administration's engaging with in a dialogue t it. you mention tt the secretary of state will be meeting with the prime minister this evening. thidengt willalking netanyahu tomorrow. th p of an ongoing dialogue that we've had to reach an understanding about this because as prime minister netanyahu said, we don't have very much time. the iranian nuclear program is accelerating, not slowing down. and israel while it's the first target it's not the only target of iran. the target is the world. >> whearou saying and correct me if i'm wrong, mr. ambassador, that the iaeed line alone won't stop the iranians you need the united states to join you in drawing that red line and tn maybe te iranians would back down is that what i'm hearing? coination ofg said the sanctions and mili threa anthe best chance of dissuading the pursuing nuclear capabilities. having said that, israel a you ow is a small counted. we'rein iran's backyard we're threatened almoaily with national annihilation by irn leaders an we have certaincapabilities. a much bigger country far away from theiddleast with vastly greater capabilities n threatened with annihilation every day. the united states can quite simply do things that we can't. and beyond that the united states has more time because we're right there next to the iranians and that program is moving very, very fast. >> listen to what michelle florny, a president of the president campaign national security committee says in defining the way they perceive -- the a administration perceives this so-called red line. it's very different than the way the prime minister explained it today. >> well, i think we have laid out a red line. and that is iran cannot actually get a weapon. >> that's very different than what the prime ministe says. she's willing to give it more time as opposed to reaching that 90% threshold which is the >> i think you have to look a what the prime mister how he framed it today, wolf. he said the quon not when iran gets a weapon or even decides to make a weapon. the question is at what point can we no longer stop iran from making that weapon? and that's what that red line was about. he was drawing a line between the medium enriched uranium and the high enriched uranium and beyond that point it will be virtually impossible for us to stop that bomb because they will put that bomb together in some small room somewhere in a country that's half the size of europe. and it will be very, very difficult to actually locate where that bomb was put together. so we're actually drawing a point where the iranians will understand they cannot go beyond it. and if they go beyond it, they will encounter the consequences. they will encounter a situation where iranian leaders will have to make a decision whether they will rema in power or have nuclear capabilities. they can't have it both ways. >> the president has said specifically his red line is we're not going to accept iran having a nuclear weapon, which is obviously a little bit different significantly potentially than what you have in mind. there's an internal report that your foreign ministry apparently has circulated and published in the israeli newspaper today saying there was an opportunity right now for sanctions to be further tightened if the eu for example further tightened the sanctions. maybe that could achieve an overthrow, if you will, of the iranian regime and set back their nuclear program. what can you tell us about this? >> well, we would always hope for a political change in iran and to bring about a reorientation of iranian policy to bring back the friendship that once existed between iran and israel before the iranian revolution of 1979. but we can't count on that. we saw how in 2009 the iranian regime brutally suppressed iranian citizens who were protesting for freedom and democracy in their country. and the iranian clock -- the iranian nuclear clock is moving much, much faster than that according to to international atomic energy agency. the iranians have tripled the rate at which they're enriching doubled the amount of lone centrifuges that have been moved under that fortified bunker. so that clock is moving very, very swiftly. while we hope the sanctions will bring about a change, a fundamental change in the iranian orientation, we still have to plan for the possibility that it won't. keep in mind that no country has a greater interest in resolving the iranian nuclear threat through diplomatic means, than peaceful means, than israel. we have the skin in the dwgame. the red line is designed to promote diplomacy. plomll have a interest i a ic resolution to this problem. >> the president h a one-hour phone call witrime minist netanyahu last week. president obama's been widely criticized for having time to go on "the view" while innew york but not necessarily meeting directly with world leaders including prime minister netanyahu. how upsetting is this to you? >> well, we understood there was a scheduling difficulty there. we have this conversation tomorrow. we've had a conversation in the past last week, president obama himself has said he has spent more time in face-to-face meetings and telephone conversations with prime minister netanyahu than with any other foreign leader. there's a very open channel there. at the highe leve but also atultiple levels beneath that we are in constant conversation with our american colleagues about the iranian issue. but not only the iranian threat, but about a number of issues that are currently opening us in the middle east. >> one final question if you can answer it quickly. it's a sensitive one. if by next spring summer the iranians are still enriching uranium, will israel take unilateral military action to stop them even if the united states is not with israel? >> well, i'm not going to go into certainly tactical secrets here with you on national television, wolf. but keep in mind israel is a sovereign country. it's a sovereign jewish country that has a particularly tragic past. and we have the right and duty to defend ourselves. that right and duty has been recognized by president obama. he said only israel can best decide how to defend its citizens. our hope is not to ever have to reach that point. the red line is designed to prevent war. if a red line had been drawn against nazi expansionism in the 1930s, we wouldn't have had world war ii. it stopped a war between the united states and soviet union. red lines can work. they are a tool that brings about -- can help bring about a diplomatic resolution to a threat which endangers not just israel and the middle east but the entire world. >> you're not only being seen nationally, you're being seen internationally in more than 200 countries and territories, mr. ambassad ambassador. want to correct the record on that. appreciate very much you coming in. >> as always. >>> syrian expats right here in the united states are helping to arm the opposition. plus, a unique look at mitt romney, his mormon faith and the picture you've probably never seen before. vying for your attention. so we invented a warning you can feel. introducing the all-new cadillac xts. available with a patented safety alert seat. when there's danger you might not see, you're warned by a pulse in the seat. it's technology you won't find in a mercedes e-class. the all-new cadillac xts has arrived, and it's bringing the future forward. >>> there are quiet moments for people in syria, but they don't opposition forces say at least 91 people died in atcks nationwide today. and now the united nations once again for nearly $500,000 to re for hndreds of thsands of syrian refugees. brian dd i re. he's worki theryor us. brian, you're keeping an eye on other moy going to syria, to the rebels specifically. >> we e, wolf. a oup based here in the united stat and cana is raising money to send directly to the syrebels. that money is often used to buy weapons. now, beuse the weapons are not being nt directly from this group, it's legal. but this has still raised some concerns in washington. outgunned at the beginning, syria's rebels have gradually gained strength taking the fight more directly to bashar al assad's regime and scoring some battlefield victories. could some of those victories have started from this computer in washington? >> that's where you can actually identify where they conduct -- where they have a stronghold. >> reporter: brian heads the u.s.-based arm of the syrian support group, a nongovernmental group dedicated to helping the syrian rebels. why did you want to do this? >> well, i have a son. and he's 18 months old. and i think that i saw too many images of what was going on there. 2-year-olds that are white, pale and lifeless. >> reporter: you can donate to the rebels using a credit card or paypal. the website states your money can be used by the free syrian army to buy weapons. he says they've raised a couple hundred thousands dollars so far. most from syrian expats. it's all legal. sayers, a former nato political officer, got the treasury department to give the syrian support group a license so it can raise money for the rebels without violating sanctions against syria. it's a way for the u.s. government to allow donated resources from america to get to the rebels without the government directly arming the rebels. ironically, brian sayers works to get those resources there from an office down the hall which is just three blocks from the white house just beyond those trees. sayers is clear. his group's not directly supplying the rebels with weapons. it can't do that legally. he says the money goes to rebel commanders on the ground, people who they vetted thoroughly who buy the weapons. he says those commanders have to sign a proclamation of principles saying they'll follow the je knee have convention and democratic ideals. cn incomes contributor tom fuentes says it's dangerous. >> it's almost a fast and furious situation. we'll send the weapons there and we'll track them later, no, you won't. >> how do you know these people aren't just signing the proclamation just to get the weapons and then using it for nefarious purposes? >> we use third party contacts on the ground. we use the relationships, the family members, the contacts that are all syrian-american. >> reporter: they're also providing intelligence. sayers and his colleague in canada communicate with rebel commanders directly. that was saka discussing how to get salaries and other resources to rebels manning checkpoints in syria. this is often realtime communication, aid, resources going directly to syrian rebels on the ground from a private office here in washington or a basement in toronto. the state department contacted by cnn said it was not really thrilled with this arrangement. an official there saying "further militarizing the conflict isot somethinth vast majority of syrians want and could lead to greater loss of life." wolf. >> has this group addressed the concern that after the war a lot of these weapons would be just floating around and could get into anybody's hands? >> they do. brian sayers unlike in libya, his group is not going to leave syria right after the war ends. he says they're licensed to help the syrian rebels for two years and they plan on being there on the ground after this war ends to help gather and decommission weapons. we'll see if they really do that. >> we'll see. sensitive important stuff. thanks very much for that. today the focus is in the presidential race. and they're focuses on virginia and veteran voters. up next, how president obama's turning mitt romney's words against himng to score points with vets. stick around. you're in "the situation room." this country was built by working people. the economy needs manufacturing. machines, tools, people making stuff. companies have to invest in making things. infrastructure, construction, production. we need it now more than ever. chevron's putting more than $8 billion dollars back in the u.s. economy this year. in pipes, cement, steel, jobs, energy. we need to get the wheels turning. i'm p. making real things... for real. ...that make a real difference. ♪ a short word that's a tall order. up your game. and if you stumble, you get back up. up isn't easy, and we ought to know. we're in the business of up. everyday delta flies a quarter of million people while investing billions improving everything from booking to baggage claim. we're raising the bar on flying and tomorrow we will up it yet again. >>> even if we didn't highlight them, you can tell the state campaigns know our key to victory. take a look at where the candidates actually go. today, for example, for both president obama and governor romney it's virginia. they're fighting for its 13 electoral votes holding events not just on the same day but at nearly the exact same time. our white house correspondent brianna keilar traveled with the president. brianna. >> reporter: wolf, election day may still be weeks away, but absentee voting both mail-in and in person is underway in virginia. president obama came here to this conservative stronghold as he tries to keep this state out of the reach of mitt romney. in virginia beach president obama tailored his latest attack on mitt romney to the military voters here as he hit his opponent for his recently revealed comments that the 47% of americans wlo don't pay income taxes see themselves as victims. >> i travel around a lot in virginia and around this country. i don't need a lot of victims. i see a whole bunch of veterans who served this country with bravery and distinction. and i see soldiers who defend our freedom every single day. and i see those military families who are wondering whether their loved ones are going to come back home safe and sound. that's who i see. >> reporter: active duty military and combat zones do not pay federal income tax. and veterans do not pay federal income tax on their veteran benefits. hammering that theme, virginia senator jim webb, a veteran and military father. >> but in receiving veterans benefits, they are not takers. they are givers in the ultimate sense of the word. >> thank you. >> reporter: you might not be able to tell by the supportive crowd of thousands here at the farm bureau live amp theater, but this part of the state is not an obama stronghold. virginia beach and nearby norfolk with their concentration of military voters lean conservative. president obama is trying to cut into romney's support here and a recent cnn poll of polls shows him ahead six points. the obama campaign launched this attack ad thursday airing in virginia and a handful of other battleground states. >> there are victims who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them. >> reporter: and as early voting starts up in a number of states, the president framed his closing argument in a positive ad where he talks directly to the camera. >> it's time for a new economic patriotism rooted in the belief that growing our economy begins with a strong thriving middle class. >> reporter: president obama reiterated that message of economic patriotism as he put it here today pushing a set of newly framed proposals to krn crease manufacturing jobs, hire more science and math teachers, reduce oil imports and give tax breaks to companies that invest in the u.s. wolf. >> brianna keilar on the campaign trail with the president. thanks very much. the attack on the american consulate in benghazi, libya, is still raising lots and lots of questions including who was behind it all? our own arwa damon goes into the mouth of the lion for an up close look at the rise of extremists right now in libya. [ woman ] it's 32 minutes to go time, and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district. the writer's desktop coordandheator's phone are working on a joke with local color. e secure cloud just received ategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... ♪ atmix of energies.ve the world needs a broader that's why we're supplying natural gas to generate cleaner electricity... that has around 50% fewer co2 emissions than coal. and it's also why, with our partner in brazil, shell is producing ethanol - a biofuel made from renewable sugarcane. >>a minute, mom! let's broaden the world's energy mix. let's go. humans -- even when we cross our t's and dot our i's, we still run into problems. namely, other humans. which is why, at liberty mutual insurance, autoics me wiep carcement and accident forgiveness if you qualify. see what else comes standard al.com. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? >>> a unook at mitt romney, the picture of the republican nominee long before he became a politician that you've probably never seen before. you'll see it right here in "the situation room." ♪ [ male announcer ] how do you engineer a true automotive breakthrough? ♪ you give it bold new styling, unsurpassed luxury and nearly 1,000 improvements. introducing the redesigned 2013 glk. see your authorized mercedes-benz dealer for exceptional offers through mercedes-benz financial services. and get outstanding deals with the travelocity fall hotel sale. you can save up to 40% on select hotels. so book your hotel now and save up to 40%. hurry, offer ends soon. book now at travelocity. >>> strong words today from the defense secretary leon panetta declaring unequivocally that the deadly attack on the united states ambassador chris stevens and three other americans in libya was in his words clearly the work of terrorists. >> the reason i think it pretty clearly it was a terrorist attack is because a group of terrorists obviously conducted that attack on the consulate. and against our individuals. what terrorists were involved i think still remains to be determined by the investigation. but it clearly was a group of terrorists who conducted that attack against that facility. >> a nior u.s. official tells cnn intelligence suggested within 24 hours after the attack within 24 hours extremists either affiliated or inspired by al qaeda may have been behind it. cnn's senior international correspondent arwa damon got extraordinary access to what could be considered a breeding ground for extremism inside the country. >> reporter: it may look like a sleepy beach front town, but it has reputation as a home to islamist extremist militia. some of them with links to al qaeda. these militia had allegedly left their bases but continue to haunt the streets. we tried to get access to one of these bases. saw a handful of gunmen there and were told to leave. e pickup truck just swerved in front of us forcing us to stop. three men got out wanting to talk. i'm assuming about what it is at we're doing here. and they seem quite gitated. one of our escorts was warned that "since the extremists no longer control security, they couldn't ensure ours," they were advising us to leave town. but this man tells us it's far from clear they will fade away. while we were filming here a man came over to speak to us, but he was too afraid to go on camera. he wanted us to know that the majority of people here are sick and tired of being in the spotlight because the minority he says is affiliated with al qaeda. a local journalist says radical islam has always had a place here men from here fought in afghanistan. and estites are that more than 50 traveled to iraq to become suicide bombers. the highest number from any town outside of iraq. the city and its surroundings were sympathetic tthese groups because they had a common enemy, which was gadhafi, he explains. they were all trying to bring down gadhafi. from the onset of the revolution it was the extremists that provided security. after liberation was announced says misouri, there was increasing pressure on al qaeda in yemen and other places. coming to libya was easy. among those setting up camp, once bin laden's drive and held in guantanamo bay for five years, established a unit here. alleged to have been sent here by al qaeda's ar. according to security sources these islamist militia have common goal, weakening and then infiltrating libya's curity apparatus. in benghazi there have been more than a dozen assassinations of former military officers. sources tell cnn that many of them were reportedly on an islamist hit list to eliminate qualified individuals that could pose a threat. colonel of the libyan army was recently kidnapped. he says he doesn't know by whom or exactly why. he got a call from a man who spoke as if he knew him and said he had urgent information to pass on. outside his home in broad daylight two masked men forced him into theircar. wh i got into the car they put a black hood on my head and began saying things like, you're going to see, threatening me, he tells us. later he was forced to his knees ism.told to repentnd hen hethou hasoing to die when the phone rang. i could hear someone y, he's alive. we haven't killed him yet. you can hear his voice, he recalls. and then he was free. the influence of these radical groups has emerged in the capital. last month they destroyed shrines including this one right in thert oripo. a move tycalf sill fist intolenc as the shrine wasg libyansecuri fce ses say facilitated e act by blockin ofth stre the mtry o teriys that it'snvestitihese charges wi that igo afterhese groups claiming it wants to avdheddingblood. and tt is the pblem. thgovernment's tlt rong enough to facewn these groups. and they always thrive weakne arwadamon, cnn, troli. >>> this just coming c. the united state now ving m staff fmit libyafor secuty reasons. according to a senior state department officiae're t thve i intendedbe temporary. the staff could return as soon as next week. bu w sha e the s. removing staff, more members of t diplomatic mmithe.sy intripoli. so what about the investigation into the attack on the us. consate inha,ionalecuri ribucontr fran townsendinteigen zanne kelly, they are getting d. standby. we'll go to them when we come back. [ laughing ] [ laughing ] [ laughin laughing ] ♪ with. imine living your life wiss chronic with. imagine you, wilessth n cbalta can help. to o muscletal pain. one non-narcotic pill a day, every day, can help reducehis pain. tell your doctor right away if your mood worsens, you haveal c unusunges in mood or bior or thoughts of suicide. antidepressants can increase these in children, teens, and young adults. cymbalta is not pred for childrennder 1 people taking maois or thioridazine or with uncontrolled glaucoma should nake cymbal taking it whid pain relievers, or blood thinners may increase bleeding risk. severe liver problems, some fatal, were reported. signs include abdominal pain and yellowing skin or eyes. tell your doctor about all your medicines, including those for migraine and while on cymbalta, call right away if you have high fever, confusion and stiff muscles or serious allergic skin reactions like blisters, peeling rash, hives, or mouth sores to address possible life-threatening conditions. talkbout your alcohol use, liver disease and before you reduce or stop cymbalta. dizziness or fainting may occur upon standing. ask your doctor about cymbalta. imagine you with less pain. cymbalta can help. go to cymbalta.com to learn about a free trial offer. >>> there have been lots of questions about just how much access the fbi is getting on the ground in libya in the wake of the u.s. consulate attack. joining us now to talk about it, cnn's national security contributor, the former bush homeland security advisor, fran townsend, a member of the cia external advisory committee. last month she visited libya. also joining us cnn intelligence correspondent suzanne kelly. fran, let me start with you. what's the problem with the fbi -- apparently -- it's hard to bieve, they stillave not been ae toctually get into benghazi to start looking around at the scene of this crime? >> that's right, wolf. and you know, with every passing moment and day it becomes less and less valuable, right? because so many people have been through that consulate now and the annex. but investigators still want to get there. we've heard now, wolf, with them continuing to draw down personnel in tripoli, there are concerns over the security situation. but we know that the fbi's got personnel on the ground, they're in tripoli. knowat the's marin protection at the embassy in tripoli. and so they're trying very hard to make sure that they can get out to benghazi and look at firsthand the crime scene, the physical setup, to understand -- it's the only way to really understand the facts of what happened and how they unfolded there. >> is the problem that the libyans aren't cooperating? is there another interagency-u.s. problem going on here? what's the issue? >> you know, wolf, i think probably the right answer is all of the above. we know the libyans today issued a statement saying they had offered to get the fbi out to ngha. they belve they could do that safely. that it was not a security issue. i think american officials though are concerned about security. we've also heard that there have been some interagency wrangling right between the state department who's got to be the interface with the libyan government, make the request and then facilitate it. and they've got fewer pers on t. the secrety' dealing with the u.n. general assembly pulling on her time and attention. we understand there are multiple things that have sort of slowed down the fbi's investigation and caused some frustration. >> suzanne, what are you hearing about this investigation? what's the latest you're hearing from your sources? >> right. the u.s. official is saying that as fran mentioned the fbi tame has not gone to benghazi more out of concern for the security of the team according to them. however, fran touched on an important point which is going through the crime scene itself to see what's leftover. and there's another important point is having access to the people to get interviews. witnesses and people who may be suspected of having some sort of relationship with the actual attack itself. so that human source and those interviews are going to be realortaly imp for fbi investigators to help piece together what exactly happened that night. tendedkema o mething that is even months. and for the u.s. to kind of ink that they can mrcin and tansweronthis right ay is simply not realistic. to today, pilmudd held high level positions both ati and a, ht te chalnges ahead finveigators t a the relationship with the libyans in this case in particular is so important. take a listen to what h had to say. >> i think over time some of the people who are involved including people from al qaeda, the local organization associated with al qaeda might talk i doubt th would tto an american investigator directly. that's one of the major reasons you want to build relationships in tripoli with the local service. who's going to get you there in the first place? in the wake of what just happened, i would not want to have american investigators running around looking for interviewees. i would want someone who was my friend building a relationship in a cafe doing it for me. >> that's why the relationship between the partnership between the americans and libyans is so important, wolf, they need the friends in libya to get access to the people they need to talk to as well as the crime scene. >> bring fran back into this conversation. fran, i can't tell you how many people have said to me why is it possible that cnn and other news organizations can send journalists out there to benghazi, interview a whole bunch of folks, walk around the crime scene, pick up stuff, whateverhey want. arwa damon and her team, they were there for several days as you well know. why can they get in there and do this and then leave but u.s. military or fbi or other personnel can't do it? >> well, wolf, for one thing, when we go in -- when journalists go in, they don't go in as representatives of the united states government, right? we're media personnel. and there's a certain respect and sort of safety in that. anybody who goes in there representing the united states government is, you know, because it's not just the individual, they are representing our nation. so they are at greate risk. i will tell you th oftentimes in worki with the host country's service, in this case the libyans, we can get direct access. and the fbi investigators i've spoken to have made perfectly clear it's much more effective to be able to be present even if you're doing that interview alongside the host government than to have to do it through passing questions. there's plenty of room for misunderstanding, for a lack of follow-up and information. so it makes for a much more effective investigation if the fbi can get permission to have direct access along with their libyan counterparts. >> fran townsend, thank you. suzanne kelly, thanks to you as well. we'll stay on top of this story. >>> mitt romney focused in on military veterans today. we're focusing inhen we come back on h faith and a picture of romney that you've probably never seen before. 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[ male announcer ] introducing a reason to look twice. the entirely new lexus es and the first-ever es hybrid. this is the pursuit of perfection. like in a special ops mission? you'd spot movement, gather intelligence with minimal collateral damage. but rather than neutralizing enemies in their sleep, you'd be targeting stocks to trade. well, that's what heat maps do. they make u a g sassin. trade archite. td ameritrade's empowering web-based trading platform. trade commission-free for 60 days, and we'll throw in up to $600 when you open an account. >>> mitt romney's mormon fait epared him for a tough campai. front and center with this week's cover story the minmon tt. in the piece john meacham writes viewing romney through the mormon understanding of history lps him underst his devotion and understanding of history and his devoti to personal liberty and hi comfort with expediency. a an intriguing artaical to how his mormon faith has impacted his campaign style. elaborate a little bit. >> one of the points that john makes, wolf, is that mormonism in many ways is the quintessential american religion. joseph smith saw america as the promise land, as the place where the second coming would happen and it's a religion, basically, based in and vested in the idea of american exceptionalism. on the one hand, that should enable governor romney to talk about america in that way. the other point that he makes that you alluded to earlier, a religion in terms of its existence in america is based on adrsity andrej pice and combatting adversity and that should allow him also to rise to the occasion during presidential campaign. >> it makes it, presumably, a stronger campaigner out there, given the rough and tumble of a political campaign that's under way. you've also uncovered a really intriguing, pretty good picture that we've never seen of mitt romney before. i'll put it up on the screen. i want you to explain what's going on in this picture. >> yes, we think it's from about 69, wolf. it's gernor rney was on his missionary lead in france as a young man and it was when h was still courting then ann davies who was later tome his wife and hendriend of his made a numberf these kinds of photographs of him wooing ann. it say i le ann on the beaches of southern france and it shows a sidef governor romney that we haven't really seen before. romantic, sentimental side. >> he also showed us a little personal side of him on the campaign trail today. let me play this clip and then we'll discuss. >> and he said, i have a young lady that i'm in love with and we haven't been married and i'm going to go off to conflict. could you marry us? said, i don't see why not. ceught them nd the entire pronounced the wedding ceremony. i figured i was the governor, i could do whatever the heck i wanted to. so, i married these two and when i got back to the office they said, you know, there's this thing called a marriage license, did you know about that, governor? >> the soldier was about to be deployed and a nice story and sort of goes along perfectly with what you guys are writing in "time" magazi. >> we didn't plan it that way, wolf. and it was a picture that we've had for a while and when john's story was, you know, in process, i realized, hey, this is while governor romney was on his missionary period. it seemed appropriate. but, obviously, wolf, they are trying to humanize him a little more and make him more appealing to people, particularly to women voters and i think certainly that story that we just heard and this picture would help in that respect. >> certainly would. the mormon in mitt is the cover story in "time" magazine. thank you, rick, for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. >>> one of america's oldest unsolved mysteries and it may, may lie underneath a driveway. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] its lightweight construction makes it nimble... ♪ its road gripping performance makes it a cadillac. introducing the all-new cadillac xts. available with advanced haldex all-wheel drive. [ engine revving ] it's bringing the future forward. it's bringing the future and every day since, two years ago, the people of bp de a commitment to the gulf. we've worked hard to keep it. bp has paid over twenty-ellars to help people and businesses who were affected, and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open for everyone to enjoy -- and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. we've shared what we've learned with governments and across the industry so we can all produce energy more safely. i want you to know, there's another commitment bp takes just as seriously: our commitment to america. bp supports nearly two-hundred-fifty thousand jobs in communities across the country. we hired three thousand people just last year. bp invests more in america than in any other coun in fact, over the last five years, no other energy company has invested more in the us than bp. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. today, our commitment to the gulf, and to america, has never been stronger. >>> jimmy hoffa starting a new chapter. countless tips and fruitless searches for his remains off and on since thee vanished 37 years ago. but a new tip has police preparing to tear up a slab of concrete outside a michigan home. cnn is taking a closer look at the dig. >> reporter: what happened to jimmy hoffa? the notorious one-time teamster union's boss with ties to organized crime disappeared in 1975. now, police plan to drill under the driveway of this suburban detroit home. after receiving a tip from a man who said he'd seen a body being buried here around the time hoffa went missing. initial testing shows there is something underneath the concrete. friday morning, police will take a core sample from the soil there and test it for human remains. >> we do believe that he may have seen a body and as a result we did the ground penetrating radar and we're going to take it to the next step and check for human remains and if that does, in fact, happen, then we will start to escavate. >> reporter: it will be taken for analysis. this isn't the first time authorities have followed a tip like this. >> there's been a lot of earth moved looking for the remains of jimmy hoffa, all negative so far. i mean, you're talking about digging football stadiums and fields a backyards and basements. ng on this new dig, but we spoke with former fbi assistant director tom fuentes who ran the bureau's organized crime for five years. >> what are the chances that this is hoffa buried underneath this driveway in michigan? >> i would say close to zero. >> why is that? >> if they wanted to dispose of a body when they killed somebody, first of all, they wouldn't do it in a sallow grave under someby's driveway. they wouldn't do it in front of a witness. test results next week, which could bring us one step closer to figuring out, what happened to jimmy hoffa. wolf, we did get a statement from the teamsters saying "the hoffa family does not respond every time a tip is responded. the fbi keeps the family informed and they have no comment until there is a reason to comment." >> what else do we know about what the authorities think might have happened? >> this has been pretty fainating talking to all these folks about this. they believe the mob put a hit on hoffa. fuentes says one of the working theories was the people who ordered hoffa killed would have ordered his killers killed so that there would be no one left to talk about it. two other fbi agents said they think the killers may have been survived and rewarded by the mob. >> thank you. >>> happening now, israel's prime minister draws a red line. now president obama's campaign is responding. >>> forget waiting until election day, voting already started in the ccial baound states. >>> andur national security secrets being revealed by hollywood. >>> i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." >>> a dire warning and a dramatic illustration by the israeli prime minist.ited natio general assembly benjamin netanyahu literally drew a red line as he urged the world to stop iran from developing a nuclear weapon. >> where should a red line be drawn? a red line should be drawn right here. before, before iran completes the second stage of nuclear enrichment necessary to make a bomb. before iran gets to a point where it's a few months away or a few weeks away. from emassing a enough uranium to make a nuclear weapon. >> dramatic words, indeed. kate baldwin is here, as always. kate, stand by. we also want to ta about what's going on with the obama campaign's national press secretary ben lebolt joining us live from chicago. very quickly, ben, does the president agree with prime minister netanyahu's definition of a red line? >> wolf, the president reaffirmed that we will not allow iran to develop a nuclear weapon. we saw the prime minister today praise the president for his reaffirmation that we do not have a policy of containment. >> his definitioof not that ira nuclear bomb, but you saw that 90% threshold, which is different what the president and other obama administration officials have said in defining their red line. you see the difference ther between what the prime minister's position is and what the prident's position is.he pr that we will not allow iran to develop a nuclear weapon. he's rallied in international coalition that applied crippling sanctions to the iranian regime and we will not allow iran to develop a nuclear weapon under any conditions. >> will you allow iran to get to that 90% threshold close enough to develop a nuclear weapon? >> the president made very clear in his speech before the u.n. general assembly that we will not allow iran to develop a nuclear weapon. >> spell it oufor us, ben, where is the daylight between prident obama and benjamin netanyahu with regard to iran? >> i think what you've heard from israeli officials during this administration is that there's been unprecedented security operation between the united statesnd israel. security assistance for the united states to israel under this administration. >> let me focus in on the issue of sanctions. you heard the prime minister say the sanctions of help, they are putting the squeeze on iranians but they haven't and they're suggesting that there is an opportunity to further tighten sanks on iran. is the obama administration, based on wt you know, ben, to further tighten sanctions on iran? >> wolf, you know that i'm a campaign official. i don't he access to the source of intelligence that administration officials do. what the president said before the u.n., he would not allow iran to develop a nuclear weapon. >> other issues we want to discuss with you out there on the presidential campaign. focusing today, by the way, on virginia and the state's many military voters. jim acosta is joining us now with details on what's going on on that front. what is the latest as far as the president and mitt romney are concerned specifically in virginia? >> well, wolf, as you know, there was no surprise to hear both candidates go after each other on national
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Sep 26, 2012 7:00pm PDT
reacting as often happens in foreign policy. the arab spring isn't something that necessarily the u.s. has control over. >> that said, our experience tells us whether it's the east africa embassy bombings or "u.s.s. cole" in places where that are ungoverned or poorly governed, yemen, libya, because of a weak central government, there is a vacuum. al qaeda has the wherewithal to take advantage of that. al qaeda looks for safe havens around the world and it seems, appears now, that's exactly what al qaeda was doing with libya, trying to insert themselves where it was a weak or ungoverned space and take advantage of it to our great detriment. >> fran townsend, thank you very much. >>> other news tonight, what was likely his last visit with the u.n. general assembly, mahmoud ahmadinejad called for a new world order. as he was speaking, rudy giuliani blasted president obama for not taking stronger action. former mayor giuliani joins me, ahead. e i was at a gas station was about...i would say... two months ago. i very rarely put gas in my chevy volt. i go to the gas station such a small amount t
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Sep 28, 2012 1:00pm PDT
, they're looking for an issue. and they're the last people that we should hear from on foreign policy given all of the missteps that mitt romney has made. but look, wolf, beyond the political nature of this whole inquiry, we need to look at the fact that al qaeda leaders posted a video a day before the attack on september 10th which mr. alvarez wa ri wanted to avhe of one of his deputin libya. he called upon libyans to, you know, try torounrest. so look i thin one of the things we should do right now is to let congress -- members of congress investigate this. they will investigate this. senator kerry along with senator has sent a letter to the administration answering very important questions that i think the american people will want to know. on the short end of this, i doubt very seriously that the administration will try to mislead the american people at a time when as we all know that this administration has been hunting down al qaeda leaders all throughout the middle east and northern africa as well. >> i don't know if you heard, david, mike huckaby suggests this could be worse than wa
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Oct 1, 2012 8:00pm PDT
case came to a close. but clearly there were huge mistakes made here, and huge -- i argue -- foreign policy mistakes that were compounded by the original decision that they weren't going to use the information that the intelligence committee was giving them and they were going to go off on their own. i think it's a dangerous decision. i think we're seeing that now and we're going to pay a price for this. and we're going to have to figure out how to put it back together. >> have you been told you're going to get all of the cables, anything in prior months in and years to this, that this was coming, especially in the two or three months before? >> we've requested the documents. they have yet to arrive. the cooperation is not what we had hoped. i just hope we don't have to ramp this up. this should be done -- we should do this as an internal investigation so we can move forward and make sure that the orem basscies of the world, that we don't not let al qaeda off the hook on this, and i'll tell you again, that 9/11 commission was very strong in not responding to the uss cole may have cos
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Oct 3, 2012 11:00am PDT
president has had perhaps a failed foreign policy agenda. >> go ahead, job. >> this is a domestic debate. they're going to have to do it in a way that doesn't clearly violate the focus of this debate, that's a difficult line to walk. >> they're talking economy. all the different chunks of the debate, 15 minutes, 15 minutes here and there, a lot having to do with the economy. and let's talk about the october jobs numbers, one of your october surprises. they will be released f ed four before november 6th. the big one that could be the big one, right, for both of you, for voters heading to the voting booths. >> that's right. you can set your watch to that one. just days before. if it is a bad jobs number, that's the last psychological impression the voters go to the ballot booth on tuesday will have on issue number one, the economy. >> margaret hoover, let's talk about your piece on cnn.com. you called it romney's best bet, be mr. fix it. you talk about something mitt romney is not talking about very much, romney care. let me quote you. even more striking is romney's biggest legislative fea
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Sep 29, 2012 7:00am PDT
. the economy the way it is, with foreign policy so critical, you know, are social issues going to be the deciders as they have in past elections, or do you think voters are basically going to wipe the slate clean and say no, no, no, we've got to focus on getting the economy, the economy, the economy, social issues can go by the wayside. maria? >> well, that's such an interesting question, deb, because this is something that i've actually written about. this is where i think republicans have really gotten it wrong. yes, the economy is the number one issue, but guess what, mitt romney has now lost his edge on the economy. and president obama is now outpolling him on who is trusted more with the economy. so with that, what will happen when voters go into the voting booth, they will look at the economy and how both candidates will deal with economic issues, but they will always -- and this is even including when romney had an edge on the economy, they will always look at other issues because american voters are not monolithic. so if you're a latino and you go into the voting booth, you'r
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Sep 29, 2012 5:00am PDT
such a failure of foreign policy message and leadership, such a misstatement of facts, as were known at the time and for her to go on all of those shows and in effect be our spokesman for the world and misinform our allies and spokesmen around the world. someone has to pay the price for this. things go wrong and everyone forgets about it the next day. we have to send a clear message on such a vital issue like this where the american ambassador was killed, the presumptioned a to be it's terrorism. can see why they would have said it's too early to definitively rule out it was terrorism. to me, it was a terrible mistake to make whether intentionally or unintentionally, to show the significance, she should resign. >> the white house is standing by rice. they said everything she said in that interview was cleared by int interagency groups based on information they had and certainly nothing was designed to mislead the american people. >>> the search for jimmy hoffa. police say there are quote no discernable remains in the soil samples taken underneath the storage shed in suburban detroit.
CNN
Oct 3, 2012 2:00am PDT
to be three segments to focus on the economy. one segment on foreign policy. one segment on the role of governing and one segment on the role of government in people's lives, john. so how this is going to be set up is that the candidates will be sitting at podiums. if you're looking at your tv screen, mitt romney on your left, president obama on your right. the first question tonight, john, goes to barack obama. >> well, will they have a chance to mix it up and rebutt each other in a free-flowing way. >> organizers hope to have a flee-flowing discussion. this is the kind discussion we like to see because it allows the two candidates to discuss it amongst themselves. if there are questions about each other's plans, they can directly ask each other that. we have not seen that in this campaign and we'll see it tonight. >> you said the economy will likely be the big subject in the debate tonight. we have new polling to give a sense of what voters are saying about this right now. >> it is, john. no surprise, people are very downtrodden about the economy. let's look at the new cnn poll jus
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